Federal prosecutors in New York have determined that President Donald Trump conspired with his former personal attorney Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential election to violate campaign finance laws in paying two women for their silence about alleged affairs.
The conclusion was drawn by federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York, who on Friday filed a sentencing memosuggesting that Cohen serve a “substantial” prison sentence of 51 to 63 months. While they found Trump to be complicit in Cohen's crimes, no formal charge has been rendered against the president.
Trump is mentioned several times in the memo, referred to as “Individual 1”, and cast as the directing the criminal conspiracy to silence porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal with hush money payments.
“During the campaign, Cohen played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories - each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual 1 - so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election,” prosecutors wrote.
“In particular, and as Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1,” they added. The assertion marks the first time that federal prosecutors have deemed Trump an active participant in the conspiracy.